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Amazon Launches Shopping Website in India

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. The world's largest online retail company, Amazon, has launched its first shopping website in India. The Amazon website in India offers seven million books and 12,000 movies and television programs. It will soon add more products such as cameras and mobile phones.

The American company will not sell its own products in India. Indian law does not permit companies that sell goods from more than one manufacturer to sell directly to people on the Internet. Instead the Amazon website serves as a marketplace for local businesses. Last year, Amazon launched a site in India which let users compare prices online, but not purchase products.

Shabori Das is with the market research company Euromonitor. She says Amazon is entering a market where online shopping is still new, but is expected to grow quickly. She says India is expected to be among the 20 fastest growing Internet retailing markets in the world. Online businesses are interested in India's huge, young population. But only about 12 percent of Indians have a connection to the Internet. That is far fewer than in countries like China. Still, there are 150 million Internet users in India, making its market the third largest in the world. And it is expected to grow quickly as more people get connected. At this time, the path to big profits may not be easy for online retail businesses. Online retail is currently valued at $10 billion, but a large amount of that is for air travel. Now, competition to provide retail goods should increase with the entry of Amazon into the market.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.

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